“I almost failed as a salesman,” said Zig as he stood beside me an hour before delivering his motivational message to 2,700 Ziglar disciples.
“I had struggled for 2 1/2 years. I was on a losing streak, but I never saw myself as a loser.” What verbal poetry. I was standing with the best motivational speaker of our time.
“I still had the fear of rejection,” Zig said. “I didn’t understand that prospects weren’t rejecting me, they were only rejecting the offer I was making them.” Sales wisdom of the first order. (If every salesperson could grasp that philosophy, problems like cold call reluctance and fear of closing would evaporate.)
“If it wasn’t for some words of encouragement from my company president, P.C. Merrell, I would have probably found another job,” said Zig. “Merrell said ‘Ziglar, you have real ability, you’re champion caliber, I’m looking at you as a future officer of this company.’ Those words inspired me to become the number two salesman in a company of 7,000 in one year,” said Zig with an intense, yet peaceful look on his face. He says of his mentors, “Bill Cranford (the man credited with training Ziglar) got the salesman ready, P.C. Merrell got the man ready.”
That was a long time ago. It’s hard to count the years, or the millions of dollars earned since then by this legendary salesman. It’s Tuesday and he will deliver an inspirational message to a Charlotte audience that he has delivered THREE HUNDRED times before. He told me he had rehearsed in his room last night for three hours. Talk about practice what you preach!
Zig Ziglar is a classic example of focus, dedication
and self discipline.
Ziglar has been a sales and speaking inspiration to me for the past three decades. Now I’m standing next to him as he greets every one (125) of the VIP breakfast attendees as though they were a long lost relative. “Hi, I’m Zig Ziglar, glad you could join us this morning,” he said to each person as he shook their hand. People brought books to autograph, had cameras to take photos, and all had something nice to say about this man who walks and talks with grace.
Now we’re live on stage. Zig has the entire audience in the palm of his hand. Bouncing across the stage, down on one knee, arms expressing the words he wanted to punch, all in total control. A master of the spoken word if there ever was one.
There were over 90 ideas that I took away from Zig’s presentation. Wisdom like:
- You can get whatever you want, if you help enough people get whatever they want.
- The will to win is nothing unless you have the will to prepare to win.
- You were born to win, but you must plan to win, prepare to win, then you can expect to win.
- I wasn’t born in Dallas, but I got there as quick as I could.
- It’s not where you start, it’s where you go.
- You like the things money can buy; but you love the things money can’t buy.
- We hear or say the word “no” over 116,000 times in our lifetime.
- The health club is packed the first few weeks in January from people making New Years Resolutions, but the crowd thins out in less than 30 days.
Zig shared the stage with Peter Lowe, an international sales trainer who speaks with Ziglar about 40 times a year. Peter presented some interesting and innovative sales techniques, and provided a practical training balance to the inspired audience.
After his presentation I asked Peter what the biggest shortcoming was in today’s salesperson. He responded without hesitation “Improper communication skills, and inadequate training in the fundamental science of selling techniques.” Both Ziglar and Lowe are spiritually guided and inspired and they do not hesitate to include religious connotations in their presentations. No one seemed to mind.
I left the hall feeling great. Everyone around me was buzzing words of satisfaction and praise for the event.
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“You can get whatever you want,
if you help enough people get whatever they want.”